Philip Humber’s attempt at a Perfect Game encore only lasted six pitches. After retiring all 27 batters against the Mariners five days earlier, the White Sox right hander walked Mike Aviles to lead off the game, quickly dashing any hope of a repeat performance. Unfortunately for Humber, the opening free pass was a bad omen for the rest of his outing, which ended with nine runs and 11 base runners recorded against him.
Humber’s nightmarish outing was the worst performance following a perfect game in terms of both earned runs allowed and game score since at least 1922. However, Humber’s implosion wasn’t very unique. Seven different pitchers registered a game score below 50 following their date with perfection, and as a group, (excluding Mike Witt, whose perfect game in 1984 took place on the last day of the season), the class of perfect game pitchers went 5-7 with a 5.11 ERA and average game score of 48 after their big moment.
By issuing a free pass to the leadoff hitter, Humber also became the fifth pitcher to allow an opening base runner in the start immediate following his perfecto. However, no one followed up their historic achievement with greater infamy than Catfish Hunter, who gave up a lead off home run to Rod Carew enroot to surrendering eight runs to the Twins. Not surprisingly, it was Hunter who owned the worst perfect game follow-up before Humber’s hiccup.
Not everyone faded in the afterglow of their perfect game. Three pitchers followed up their accomplishment with a game score above 60, led by Tom Browning’s 71, but no one came as close to a real encore as Mark Buehrle. Although the White Sox’ lefty wound up surrendering five runs to the Twins in the outing after his perfect game, he actually retired the first 17 batters before Alexi Casilla drew a two out walk in the sixth. In total, Buehrle retired 45 consecutive batters, establishing a new major league record that still stands.